You're a superhero. This article is your blueprint to build your fitness plan.
Weights & Cardio
You need both resistance training and cardio to be healthy.
Resistance training - like push-ups and squats - builds muscle, bone, and connective tissue.
Cardio strengthens your heart and blood vessels.
Start with 2 resistance training sessions and 2 cardiovascular sessions per week.
For resistance training, perform between 6 and 30 repetitions.
For cardio, exercise 30-60 minutes in zone 2 (65-75% max heart rate).
Depending on the muscles we train - or don’t train - our posture can be made worse or better.
Exercise selection is critical.
Full range of motion exercises are going to create healthier joints than restricted movements.
Avoid sitting at the gym:
Half kneeling cable row > seated cable row
ATG split squat > leg extension
Using good technique is just as important as the exercises you choose.
Record yourself exercising and work with a coach to perfect your technique.
Modern life causes certain muscles to become tight/weak. Here are the key muscles for healthy joints.
Foot & Ankle
The foot is your foundation and connection to the earth. Take off your shoes.
The Flexor Hallucis Longus muscle provides strength to the big toe.
Actively press your big toe in towards your midline and down into the ground.
The Tibialis Anterior muscle is our first line of defense during walking and running.
Perform the tibialis raise to strengthen this muscle and balance the front and back of your lower leg.
To learn about the feet and unlocking your athletic potential, I recommend Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry.
Stretch your hip flexors and adductors.
If these muscles are overly tight we won't be able to properly use our glutes when exercising.
Regularly perform the couch stretch, frog stretch, and seated goodmorning.
The Gluteus Maximus and Gluteus Medius are responsible healthy hips and play a critical role in preventing back pain.
Train your Gluteus Maximus with hip extension - like a hip thrust.
Train your Gluteus Medius with hip abduction exercises like side plank, lying leg raise, standing leg raise, banded lateral walks, banded squats, and abduction machine.
Stretch your lats and chest because these cause internal rotation of our shoulders and poor posture.
Hang from a bar to stretch every muscle in your upper body and prevent shoulder pain.
The Lower Trapezius muscles and Rear Deltoids are critical for shoulder health.
Performing prone cobras, Trap-3 raises, and cable face pulls will train these muscles effectively.
If you have shoulder pain, check out this video to learn the specific stretches and exercises that help!
If your goal is to be healthy, you need resistance training and cardio. Your exercises should improve your mobility, not tighten you up, and the critical posture muscles must be trained.
The best book I've found for fitness enthusiasts to stay strong and injury-free is Rebuilding Milo by Aaron Horschig from Squat University.
These are a few tips that I use for myself and my clients to keep health as the priority! If you'd like to be coached by me, schedule a fitness consultation.
Hope this helps! - Tom